Right after paleontologists revealed that they found fossils from a very early sauropod – the Lingwulong shenqi, Anthony Maltese and his team published a study they conducted for years on a specimen nicknamed “Bigfoot.”
Back in 1998, when he was an undergraduate at the University of Kansas, he and his colleagues found a specimen related to the Brachiosaurus. But only recently, he has been able to carry on with the project, adding that:
“Luckily by procrastination, it enabled me the opportunity to assemble an absolutely killer international research team and have the ability to 3D-scan all of the bones for the best data of any large dinosaur foot to date.”
He published the study in the journal PeerJ, where he described the dinosaur’s fossil and its huge foot. He and the international team of researchers from the USA, Switzerland, and Germany, found that this foot once belonged to a dinosaur related to Brachiosaurus.
The Biggest Beast to Walk in North America
Anthony Maltese might have taken a long break since the discovery, but with new technology and his colleagues Emanuel Tschopp, Femke Holwerda, and David Burnham, they could compare the Bigfoot to other feet from sauropod species. The conclusion was that this foot was indeed enormous.
Holwerda, a Dutch Ph.D. student (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany,) explains that comparing it to the recorded discoveries, this is the largest dinosaur foot ever found.
“There are tracks and other incomplete skeletons from Australia and Argentina that seem to be from even bigger animals, but those gigantic skeletons were found without the feet,” said co-author Emanuel Tschopp, who is a Swiss paleontologist and a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Paleontology (American Museum of Natural History, New York).
“This beast was clearly one of the biggest that ever walked in North America,” he added.
Maltese also wants to continue the studies on other fossils that are now present at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.